Using SMS

Information

Accounts in all regions can send globally using our SMS functionality.

Please note though:

  • You should always use numbers prefixed by their international calling code (e.g. +44 for the UK)

Contents

Getting started
   » SMS sending credits
   » SMS from name
   » Short code and keyword
Creating SMS contacts and address books
   » Steps to create an SMS contact or contacts
   » Steps to create an SMS address book
Editing SMS contacts and address books
Creating an SMS campaign
Sending an SMS campaign
Sending a single SMS message
SMS reporting
Managing replies to your SMS campaigns
Changing SMS settings

Summary

You can make use of our SMS functionality to send SMS campaigns to contacts, or send a single SMS to a contact.

You add and store SMS contacts separately to any email contacts, meaning you only need a mobile number for them. 

Additionally, if you wish to personalise your campaigns, you have the option to store further information against your contacts.

We also provide a reporting section, plus you can manage your replies and adjust your SMS settings, which enables you to add respondents to SMS and email address books, as well as send auto-responder campaigns.

SMS functionality is accessed by mousing over the area switcher menu (it says 'Email' upon logging in) in the top left corner and selecting SMS from the menu.

select_SMS_el.png

Getting started

To begin with, you'll need to contact us about purchasing:

  • SMS sending credits

You'll also need to create:

  • an SMS from name

Optionally, you can also contact us to set up:

  • a short code
  • a keyword

SMS sending credits

SMS sending credits are required before you can send any SMS campaigns or single messages.

SMS from name

The SMS from name is your sending identity. If you choose an SMS from name which is a word - 'Mycompany', for example - then recipients will see your message arrive from that word (though this can depend on which country they're in).

However, recipients won't be able to directly reply to a word. If you'd like direct replies to work, then you'll need to contact us to provision a phone number to route replies through.

Your company's name will already be your default SMS from name. However, you can have more than one from name if you wish, and any newly created from name can be set as your new default. 

Please note: SMS from names can be a maximum of 11 characters.

To create an SMS from name:

  1. Go to Campaign > SMS from names
  2. Click New from name
  3. Enter a name and then click Add from name

New profiles are listed under 'SMS from names', where they can be edited an deleted.

SMS_profiles.png

Short code and keyword

You'll require a short code and keyword if you want recipients to be able to respond to you and opt in or out of your SMS campaigns or offers.

A short code is usually a 5 digit number that a recipient can send a keyword to. For example, if your keyword was 'COMPANY', to opt out of SMS communciations, a contact could send 'COMPANY STOP' to the short code. The keyword must always be the first word of a message.

SMS_opt_out_text_example.png

Please note: Short code requirements and behaviour will vary depending upon the countries you're interested in dealing with.

The keyword identifies the SMS campaign that's being responded to.

You can still send SMS without a short code and keyword. It just means you can't receive replies. You might want to do this in the case of a transactional SMS, for instance, which simply informs the contact of an order status.

Please note: It may take a few days to fully provision identities, short codes and keywords with mobile networks.

Creating SMS contacts and address books

SMS contacts and address books are created separately from your email contacts and address books.

Steps to create an SMS contact or contacts

  1. Click on Contacts in the main navigation bar to go to the 'My contacts' page
  2. Click on Add SMS contacts icon next to 'All contacts'

    add_SMS_contacts_el.png
  3. The 'Add SMS contacts' page will display

    add_SMS_contacts_page_el.pngAdd a phone number into the box provided using the international format, e.g. +44 7xxx xxxxxx. If you're adding multiple contacts, each number should be on a separate line. Alternatively, click Choose file to import contacts from a CSV or Excel file on your computer.
  4. Whether manually entering a contact or contacts, or importing via a file, click the relevant Upload button

Your SMS contacts will be imported and you can confirm this afterwards by checking the number of contacts in the 'All contacts' SMS address book.

SMS_all_contacts_el.png

Once you've created other SMS address books, they'll be listed here too.

Steps to create an SMS address book

  1. Click on Contacts in the main navigation bar to go to the 'My contacts' page
  2. Click on Add new

    add_new_SMS_address_book_el.png
  3. The 'Edit SMS address book' page will display

    create_SMS_address_book_el.pngEnter a name for the address book; you also have the option of providing a description for it.
  4. Click Save

This will take you automatically to the 'Add SMS contacts' page. Follow the same steps as given in Steps to create an SMS contact or contacts to add contacts to your newly created SMS address book.

Editing SMS contacts and address books

To edit an SMS contact, click on an address book and then click Edit alongside the required contact.

edit_SMS_contacts_el.png

This will take you through to the 'Edit SMS contact' page. Here you can edit the contact's phone number should you need to, as well as add up to five fields of information to the contact for SMS personalisation.

It's a good idea to ensure the information added here is as short as possible, bearing in mind an SMS has a limit of 160 characters.

edit_SMS_contact_el.png

Once happy, click Save.

To edit an SMS address book, click Edit alongside the required address book. 

edit_SMS_address_book_el.png

This will take you through to the 'Edit SMS address book' page where you can alter the name of the address book and the description.

Once happy, click Save.

Creating an SMS campaign

To create an SMS campaign:

  1. Click on Campaigns in the main navigation bar to go to the 'My campaigns' page
  2. Click on New campaign
  3. Give the SMS campaign a name and click Continue
    give_SMS_campaign_a_name.png
  4. Enter the content of the message in the SMS campaign editor.
    SMS_campaign_preview.pngA single SMS message can be a maximum of 160 characters, or 70 characters if you're using a non-Latin alphabet/character set. You can exceed this amount, meaning your message will flow into a second SMS, as indicated by the counter at the foot of the message.

    You can add personalisation by clicking on the personalisation icon to the right of the message box icon and selecting any one of the five fields. For instance, clicking Field 1 will add @FIELD1@ to your message and the value held against your contact for this field will be added to your message when it's sent.
  5. Click Save when you're happy.

Important

If you're adding personalisation that causes a message to exceed 160 characters (or 70 characters when using a non-Latin alphabet/character set), then the message will run into a second SMS message.

Please be aware - each extra SMS message equals another SMS credit deducted from your balance. 

Sending an SMS campaign

To send a campaign:

  1. Click on Campaigns in the main navigation bar to go to the 'My campaigns' page
  2. Click on the Send icon next to the SMS campaign you want to send.
    my_SMS_campaigns.pngThe 'Send campaign' page will display. 
    send_SMS_campaign.png
  3. Tick Select all to send to all of your SMS contacts, or tick the specific address book or books that you wish to send to
  4. Choose whether to send the SMS campaign immediately or schedule it using the date and time picker
  5. Click Next
  6. You're taken to the 'Confirm send' page, where the total amount of contacts that you're about to send to will be confirmed.
    confirm_SMS_send.pngClick Confirm and send

Sending a single SMS message

To send a single SMS message to a single contact (and this contact doesn't need to already exist in an address book):

  1. Go to Contacts > Send single message
    send_single_SMS_message_el.png
  2. The 'Send single message' page firstly confirms how many SMS send credits you have remaining
    send_single_message.pngEnter the intended recipient's number and the message you wish to send to them. Again, if you exceed 160 characters (or 70 characters if you're using a non-Latin alphabet/character set), then your message will flow into a second SMS, as indicated by the counter at the foot of the message.
  3. Once happy, click Send.

The message is sent immediately. A page will confirm the message has been sent, along with the amount of send credits you have remaining.

The contact that you've sent to will also be added to your 'All contacts' SMS address book if they didn't already exist before.

You can also send a single SMS message via our API, using the Send SMS message operation in REST and the SendSingleSmsMessage method in SOAP.

SMS reporting

Reporting is collected for your SMS campaigns and single sends in the Reporting section.

SMS_reporting.png

Campaign sends

On the 'My reports' page, your sent campaigns are listed, along with details on how many have been sent, how many have been delivered and the date and time the campaign was last sent.

SMS_my_reports_el.png

Click on the campaign to go into the campaign's report.

SMS_campaign_report.png

There are five tabs into which contacts are divided and listed, depending upon the SMS report status received for them:

  • Delivered: This indicates that your message has been successfully delivered to your contact.
  • No delivery receipt: This indicates that, whilst your message has been sent and is with the contact's network, it hasn't yet been possible to deliver it to your contact's mobile phone (for instance, their phone may be switched off). It may take time to deliver the message.
  • Failed: This indicates that your message has failed to deliver. There are a number of reasons why this might happen; the number isn't correct (a digit could be out of place, etc.); the number isn't being recognised as live by UK networks and as such is inactive; the phone is currently outside the UK without roaming enabled. Other reasons to bear in mind are that some smartphones only allow delivery of messages from known numbers, whilst older devices can have an inbox storage limit which might be at capacity. These reasons aren't explicitly provided in reporting.
  • Expired: This indicates that the time period allowed for message delivery expired, and as a result, the message wasn't delivered. A network will allow for a certain amount of time when attempting to deliver a message to a contact's phone and, whilst this will differ between networks, it will usually be somewhere between two to three days. This can happen when a phone is out of range and remains out of range, or if it is switched off for this period.
  • Deleted: This indicates that the message was deleted by the network without being delivered. It's a rare status that networks occasionally enforce.

This is real-time reporting. You can keep refreshing the report, or come back to it later, and see the statuses change as your SMS campaign continues to get delivered. You'll be able to do this for a few days, after which time networks will expire undelivered messages. 

Single sends

If you send a message using the 'Send single message' page, or via the API, or via a program node, then this report lists your single sends. 

It provides details on the number it was sent to, the country, the date and time it was sent, and the starting content of the message. 

You can click on Preview to see the full message content.

single_sends_report.png

Managing replies to your SMS campaigns

Your SMS campaign is likely to require your contacts to reply with a word or piece of information which opts them in or out of further communications.

You can access these by clicking on Replies.

All replies are listed on the 'My replies' page, displaying the contact's mobile number, the date the reply was received and the message received.

SMS_my_replies.png

To export an Excel file of your replies, click on Export to the left and then click on Export all.

Changing SMS settings

In the main email application, you can edit the routing relating to a keyword and short code number. Access these settings by clicking the person-and-cog icon positioned in the bottom left corner of the page, selecting Account from the settings menu and then clicking on the SMS settings tab. By editing these settings you can:

  • add any respondents directly into an SMS address book
  • add any email addresses provided in a response to an email address book
  • select an auto-responder SMS campaign to be sent immediately after receiving a response

To set these up, click on Edit alongside the keyword and short code number you want to do this for. 

SMS_settings.png

On the 'Editing route' page, there are three dropdowns that allow you to select the SMS address book to add respondents to, the email address book to add email address responses to, and the auto-responder campaign to send (which you'll need to have created already).

SMS_settings_editing_route.png

Once happy, click Save

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